5 Sustainable Design Trends

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

We spend nearly 90% of our lives indoors. Thus, it has become apparent to many that making sure that homes, office spaces, and the like are healthy for our bodies, minds, as well as the environment. For centuries, humans built structures for the purpose of safety and business alone. Only recently has humanity began to awaken to the idea that buildings can provide so much more. Places that you regularly frequent can have a massive impact on your overall health. Furthermore, if constructed and designed in an unsustainable manner, they can be a detriment to the environment. It’s clear (to most) that climate change is real and has serious consequences if not reversed.

Every sustainably designed building can help to chip away at the negative effects of pollution and potentially play a key role in enhancing the health as well as the well-being of every person that enters into it. With this in mind, it can be hard to imagine what’s possible without knowing what’s currently available. Listed below are five influential sustainable design trends that should help to spark your creativity and begin making your own sustainable design plans in the near future.  

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Biophilic Design

The term Biophilia refers to the love of nature. Since most of our lives are spent indoors, it only makes sense to bring nature closer to us. The goal of biophilic design is to design spaces that are human-focused and connected to nature while improving health and well being. Many top Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Apple, and Amazon invest heavily to introduce aspects of Biophilic design into their office spaces. Though many builders and architects incorporate biophilic design techniques into their work, biophilic changes can be made to your space even after it has been constructed. 

Green Walls

Green walls have grown in popularity over the last decade. Incorporating indoor plants into your home and/or office space has many positive effects such as better air quality, reduced stress, built-in irrigation system, lowering energy costs, and a bevy of health benefits. A living green wall can be customized to fit your space and add an entirely new zest and appreciation for your indoor environment. 

Building in the Right Places

Technology and human ingenuity make it easy to erect a building almost anywhere. However, just because the capability is there, doesn’t mean that it should be used. When the construction of a building will negatively affect existing ecosystems, encourage the loss of natural elements of the landscape, and/or add to an already congested and highly polluted area, it may not be worth the trouble. Constructing a building in a way that compliments nature instead of takes from it is not only good for the environment, but it is good for the overall health of those in the surrounding community. 

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Zero Net Energy Buildings

Buildings use energy, the bigger they are, the more energy they are likely to consume. Right? Well, it no longer has to be this way. It is now possible for buildings to create their own source of energy using nature (i.e. solar, wind, water). If done effectively, huge buildings do not have to rely on non-renewable energy sources. They can use the energy they create. In some instances, they may be able to provide additional energy for the surrounding community. 

Non-Toxic Buildings

This sustainable design trend is just as it sounds. It is possible for buildings to be constructed using no materials that negatively impact the environment. Albeit a challenging and potentially expensive undertaking, it can be done. A famous example of this is the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington. It was constructed using materials that are free of toxins, carcinogens, mutagens, etc. 


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